Monday, March 16, 2009

You're Soaking In It...

As all things turn to emerald on St. Patty's Day I've decided to forego my tribute to Irish Spring soap ("Manly yes...but I like it too!") and instead take a look back of one of my favorite TV icons - Madge, the wisecracking manicurist - who sold the world the unmistakably green Palmolive Dishwashing liquid for over 25 years!
Actress Jan Minor started on radio, and played many guests roles on early TV - but it wasn't until the 1960s when her career took off - and Madge became a favorite TV pitch person across TV land.

Jan also had many film roles, including playing  Lenny Bruce's mother Sally Marr, in the acclaimed film LENNY (1974). She can also be seen onscreen in the films MERMAIDS (1990), ENDLESS LOVE (1981) and THE SWIMMER (1968).
Ms. Minor's many TV roles included guest stints on REMEMBER WENN (1997), LAW & ORDER (1994), CAGNEY & LACEY (1983) and ONE DAY AT A TIME (1978).
Jan also famously portrayed lesbian icon Gertrude Stein on stage and on video in the acclaimed Win Wells play, GERTRUDE STEIN AND A COMPANION.

An accomplished stage actress, it was Madge that brought Jan into the homes and hearts of millions - and not only in the USA. She made Palmolive commercials in French, German, Danish and Italian!
Though, oddly, in English-speaking  Australia, she was replaced by an Aussie actress.
Jan was once quoted as saying..."I'd dip my hands in Palmolive the rest of my life," since the money she made on the Palmolive commercials gave her the ability to pick and choose her theater roles.
Jan passed away in 2004, but left behind dozens of enjoyable ads for folks like me to rediscover on YouTube.


Writer said...

I miss Madge. I realize now that as a child, she was everything I wanted to be as a grown, gay man.

laura weiss said...

My favorite Madge commercial is the fourth one you provide. I want to be a Sixties Housewife Having A Day At The Beauty Parlor. Where the only thing that really strikes you about Palmolive is that it's "pretty green."